Ford Foundation MRI Investment a Historic Challenge to Other Funders

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Ford Foundation’s historic announcement on 5 April to commit up to 1 billion USD from its 12 billion USD endowment over the next 10 years to mission-related investing has changed the board-level discussions in other foundations and institutional investors, which are increasingly examining the holistic results of their work on local communities. Mission-related investments (MRIs) are the market-rate assets in a foundation’s endowment that have a positive social or environmental impact and are distinct from program-related investments (PRIs) which primarily aim to accomplish one or more of a foundation’s tax-exempt purposes. These changing board-level conversations have significant implications: In 2012, the US was home to 86,192 foundations with 715 billion USD in assets. Foundations can prepare for these board-level conversations by analyzing the work of the foundations that have taken into consideration their mission as part of meeting prudent investment standards about risk and expected return. More information and selected details about the MRIs of large foundations are available here.

Source: NonProfit Quarterly

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